« السابقةمتابعة »
convey the glad tidings to mankind; the dying martyrs, confirming their testimony by their harmless lives and patient sufferings, shew the excellency of their principles, and expose the odious cruelty of their adversaries. At length the day of vengeance arrives: he that sitteth in the heavens had poured contempt upon his impotent foes, and triumphed gloriously, notwithstanding their feeble, though determined opposition; but now "he
speaks to them in his wrath, and vexes them in "his sore displeasure." Jerusalem is surrounded by the Roman legions, the executioners of the sentence which had been pronounced: miseries till then unknown are inflicted on the devoted nation; eleven hundred thousand persons perish in the siege; the survivors are sold for slaves, till no more purchasers can be found; the city and temple are entirely destroyed, and the sacred hill of Zion given up, to be henceforth "trodden under "foot of the gentiles," according to another memorable prophecy, which hath now been fulfilling for nearly one thousand eight hundred years'! An apostate emperor attempts, in defiance of Christ, to rebuild the temple and restore the Jews; but his design is frustrated by earthquakes and the signal interposition of heaven while the Jews themselves, scattered through all nations, and almost every where oppressed, are reluctant
Luke, xxi. 24,
witnesses to the truth of the scriptures, and inonuments of divine vengeance on the despisers of the gospel.
The Roman emperors also exerted their extensive and absolute authority in opposing the establishment of Christianity; and it is remarkable, that several of those, who are celebrated for virtue, were the most determined persecutors.-But what was the event? From that time this mighty empire was undermined, and at length Christianity was established, as it were, upon its ruins!
It would not be a difficult task to shew, from the history of succeeding ages, that God hath fulfilled his promise, in maintaining his church against the most virulent rage of her numerous and powerful enemies; according to the next words of this prophecy, "Yet have I set my king upon my holy "hill of Zion :" and the event will be the same with all other rulers and nations, who set themselves to oppose the kingdom of Christ.-For a season they may prosper, boast, and blaspheme; and say, with Sennacherib, to the servants of the Lord, "Let not your God in whom you trust de'ceive you, saying, Ye shall not be delivered into
my hands-Behold, ye have heard what I have "done unto all lands, and shall ye be delivered?" -But God will answer them, as he did the proud Assyrian, "I know thy abode, and thy going out "and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. "Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult is
* come up into my ears; therefore I will put my "hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips; " and I will turn thee back by the way by which "thou camest.-The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall "do this';" for he hath said, and he will accomplish it, "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of "Zion."
But the prophecy still further expands itself: "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said "unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I be
gotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee "the heathen for thine inheritance, and the utter"most parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou "shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt "dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. "wise now, therefore, O ye kings, be instructed, ye judges of the earth." The counsel is addressed to kings, because monarchy was the more general kind of dominion: but all invested with authority are evidently meant, by whatever titles they may be distinguished. They are the judges of the earth, whose judgment is submitted to in all the secular concerns of mankind. These dignified personages are admonished to be wise, and welcome instruction; especially in respect of the kingdom, which the Lord hath established under the government of his only begotten Son.-It
I Is. xxxvii. 10, 11, 28-38.
therefore follows, "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling."
Submit to the authority of God; bow your sceptres to the sceptre of the Messiah: employ your power and influence in obeying his com'mands and promoting his glory: presume not, in any case, to set your authority in opposition to his; lest he dash you in pieces like a potter's ' vessel. Stand in awe of his power, reverence 'his majesty; and, while you rejoice in your ex'alted rank, and all its alluring appendages; tremble also, lest they should occasion your deeper 'condemnation.'-"Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, "and ye perish from the way: when his wrath is kindled, yea, but a little; blessed are all they "that put their trust in him.”
The conclusion of the psalm is very emphatical: and the turn given to the address may imply far more than is expressed, with a trivial change in the punctuation. This is frequently the manner of the sacred writers. "How shall ye escape, if ye neglect so great salvation?" "What is a man
profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose "his own soul?" The psalmist having said, "When his wrath is kindled, yea, but a little," breaks off abruptly, as if he meant to add, 'I 'will not, I cannot describe the misery of that man, against whom the wrath of Christ is kindled
in the least degree: I leave the subject as too
dreadful to be insisted on; and will rather • direct your thoughts to a more delightful consideration;'" Blessed are all they that put their "trust in him."
Having thus briefly reviewed this prophecy, I will again demand your attention to its contents, which are too obvious to need much interpretation, and which involve no ambiguity or uncertainty. Have not these predictions, concerning the opposition of the world to the kingdom of Christ, and his triumph over his enemies, been exactly fulfilled? Have not facts corresponded with the evident meaning of the language here used?
These accomplishments of scripture, in things which no human sagacity could possibly foresee, are unequivocal demonstrations that it is the word of the omniscient God. Ingenious men may easily start plausible objections, or answer arguments with sarcasm, or repartee: but is this a suitable way of treating subjects of such awful importance? Let the opposers of our holy religion stand forth with manly frankness, and fairly prove, if they can, that these prophecies were not delivered a thousand years before the coming of Christ; or else that the events have not corresponded to them. Until one of these things has been undeniably effected; we shall continue to affirm, that so far from believing without evidence, we have unspeakably better reasons to assign for our faith and hope, than unbelievers can have for any of their opinions. eng d